Smartphones: the lazy person’s accessory — right? Here we all are, tapping and swiping our lives away, while better folk sprint up mountains and bench press their own kitchen tables.
Well, actually, as much as we do like to tap and swipe, that isn’t an entirely accurate tableau. Some of the most popular smartphone apps are, in fact, fitness and exercise software; your phone can be your motivator, instructor and training log in one palm-sided unit — and it can play you kickass tunes at the time, which, we wager, is more than you can say for your mate’s flesh-and-blood mentor down the gym. Here’s a quick run-through of ten of the hottest fitness apps available for your Nokia Lumia. On your marks, get set…
Exactly what you’d expect in a training app, this is a complete package that can log your workouts across a verity of sports, from running and cycling to yoga and weightlifting, so you know exactly what you’ve been doing. It’s linked to your phone’s GPS data so it’ll map and track your runs, and it’s hooked up to Nokia Music so you’ll never be without an appropriate power ballad when you’ve topped that killer hill on mile seven. Comprehensive and fantastic value. A free, ad-supported version is also available.
Fitbits are wireless gadgets that track your activity, and the (unofficial) Windows Phone app links to your account to track your profile on the go. As well as counting the steps you’ve walked, it keeps a virtual eye on your sleep patterns too, for a more holistic approach to health and fitness. Handy, though obviously requires some outlay on the Fitbit device to begin with.
Enter a target umber of push-ups (100, for the ambitious) and the app will talk you through a tailored training programme to get you to that point. Simple and motivating with a good clean UI – we love it. (Though our lack of upper-body strength doesn’t make us good advocates for it…)
If you haven’t heard of the Couch to 5K programme, then you’ve never been a wanna-be runner. The most famous training regime for new runners and joggers, it aims to get you running three miles in a few short weeks through a schedule of walk-and-jog sessions leading up to the grand 5k finale. This app uses audio cues to guide you through the trice-weekly workouts and uses GPS to track your runs. An excellent app that’ll cost you nothing.
One mainly for the ladies, but men can benefit too, Kegel Bootcamp is a simple pelvic floor workout app. It couldn’t be easier — an on-screen prompt tells you when to tense your muscles and when to relax them by flashing red and blue respectively, and the app cycles through sets of increasing complexity. Fantastic. Pay a small amount for the full app, or download the ad-supported version for free.
Daily Yoga for Abs
Does what it says on the tin – yoga exercises that focus on the abdominal region. Videos and voice narration take you through sessions of different durations that use up to 21 asanas or poses. It’s even got background music (though that may not be to your taste). The pictorial guides to posture are really handy, as are the videos — this gets the thumbs up from us.
7 Minute Workout
Three guesses what this does! Yep – an intensive seven-minute blast of exercises to get your heart rate going when you’re stuck for time. The workout fits in twelve different moves, and though the seven-minute aspect is the headline, they do recommend you perform three sets – even twenty-one minutes is pretty swift, though, we have to admit. The app itself is bright and cheerful and easy to follow, and you can tailor the programme to suit your individual needs.
Records your footsteps, whether you’re running or walking. Simple as that. it also syncs with SkyDrive so you’ll never lose your data; it support Nokia Maps; and it has an embedded media player so you can listen to music while you walk your heart out. Afterwards you ca plot your data on neat little graphs. A statistician’s dream!
An alternative to Runtastic, this is an all-purpose sports-tracker that’s particularly good when it comes to drawing out your route on Nokia Maps. The interface is a little busier than Runtastics, but users love it, and you can export your stats in a variety of file formats, making sharing and analysing all that bit more comprehensive.
Finally, a handy addition to almost all the above, there’s Heart Rate, an app that uses your Lumia’s camera to measure your heart-rate — info all serious athletes ought to be aware of. All you have to do is place the top of your index fingers against the lens, and Bob’s your uncle. No runner should be without it. And the ER-esque readings charts look stupendously medical!
That’s all for now — but tell us, which fitness apps do you rate?
Image credit: puuikibeach